Hosting

Best Website Builders For Retail Sites Compared 2024

Which Retail Website Online Website Builder Should You Choose?

Last Updated on 19/05/2024

E-commerce is worth a pretty penny if you do it right. But you probably already knew that, or else you wouldn’t be reading this article on the best website builders for online store owners, right?

A standout retail website builder places online store owners front and centre of its service offering. They’ll offer easy payment processing, order forms, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools to help you target customers far and wide. Here’s how to find the right web builder for you and set yourself up for online sales success.

Read More
Best Hosting & Website Builder
wix-banner Get the best price
Shopify
5 / 5
Storage
unlimited
Domains
1
Templates
1000+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
from $9 per month
Visit SiteShopify Review
Wix
4.9 / 5
Storage
from 500 MB
Domains
included (from Combo Package)
Templates
800+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
$16 per month
Visit SiteWix Review
WordPress
4.8 / 5
Storage
from 1 GB
Domains
included (from "Personal" package)
Templates
100.000+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
$4 per month
IONOS
4.8 / 5
Storage
from 10 GB
Domains
1 free domain
Templates
200
Term
from 6 months
Starting Price
$1 per month
Visit SiteIONOS Review
Square
4.8 / 5
Storage
unlimited
Domains
included (in the Package)
Templates
20+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
from $0
Visit SiteSquare Review
Weebly
4.8 / 5
Storage
from 500 MB to unlimited
Domains
included (1x)
Templates
50+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
from $0
Visit SiteWeebly Review
Hostinger
4.8 / 5
Storage
from 50 GB
Domains
Included (1x)
Templates
100+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
from $2,99 per month
GoDaddy
4.7 / 5
Storage
from 10 GB
Domains
1 free domain
Templates
about 100
Term
from 12 months
Starting Price
$9.99 per month
Visit SiteGoDaddy Review
Zyro
4.6 / 5
Storage
unlimited
Domains
included (in the Package)
Templates
150
Term
from 12 month
Starting Price
$3.90 per month
Visit SiteZyro Review
Webflow
4.6 / 5
Storage
from 1 GB
Domains
included (1x)
Templates
2.000+
Term
from 3 months
Starting Price
$14 per month
Visit SiteWebflow Review
Bluehost
4.6 / 5
Storage
from 10 GB
Domains
start with 1 website
Templates
800+
Term
from 12 month
Starting Price
$2.95 per month
Visit SiteBluehost Review
SquareSpace
4.1 / 5
Storage
unlimited
Domains
1 included
Templates
200+
Term
from 12 months
Starting Price
$16 per month
One.com
4.1 / 5
Storage
from 50 GB
Domains
1 free domain
Templates
150+
Term
from 12 month
Starting Price
$6.99 per month
Visit SiteOne.com Review
HostGator
4.0 / 5
Storage
from 10 GB
Domains
1 free domain
Templates
150
Term
from 12 months
Starting Price
$3.75 per month
Jimdo
4 / 5
Storage
from 500 MB to unlimited
Domains
included (from "Start" Package)
Templates
100+
Term
from 1 month
Starting Price
$9 per month
Visit SiteJimdo Review

What is an online store website builder, exactly?

Website builders basically offer easy-to-use web development software for dummies. But online retail store website builders are a little different in that, you guessed it, they put more of an e-commerce spin on their service offerings.

As such, you can use these platforms to set up shop online in minutes. However, much like online stores themselves, no two retail web builders sell the exact same services – which makes shopping around for the right ones all-important.

Website builder comparison – our top five retail website builders

From an online store standpoint, the best website-building tools are those that bundle together sales-friendly features and SEO capabilities. A few platforms worth checking out are:

Wix – the fastest, simplest solution

Know nothing about coding? Wix utilises a drag-and-drop editor that practically anybody could use. Better yet, they don’t charge any extra transaction fees, meaning you’ll get to keep every penny of your sales, sort of. Regular payment processing fees charged by your linked payment options will still apply.

Pro and Con
  • More than 50 secure payment providers
  • TLS 1.3 encryption – i.e., it’s safe
  • Easy-to-use editor
  • Sell simply on social media
  • Only 20GB storage on basic plans
Wix
Hosting
4.9/5
$6.50 per month
Go to Wix
Wix Highlights
  • Great variety of templates
  • Unlimited bandwidth available
  • 99.9% uptime

Shopify – the best online store website builder for dropshipping

Shopify is an e-commerce-friendly favourite in more than 175 countries. They power millions of successful online stores globally – and probably a few not-so-successful ones built by sellers who didn’t take the time to check out their amazing tutorials. Pick Shopify if you’re into dropshipping or want to sync email marketing campaigns and payment processing plugins with your site smoothly.

Pro and Con
  • A one-stop shop for online store creation
  • Premium themes
  • No coding experience necessary
  • Intuitive Shopify Payments feature
  • Expensive to unlock the best features
Shopify
Hosting
5.0/5
from $9 per month
Go to Shopify
Shopify Highlights
  • Customizable templates
  • Safe and efficient platform
  • Build it your way

Square – a solid budget solution

Another web builder that requires no coding experience, Square is a real gem for sellers – particularly those of you on a tight budget. They’re a payment processing company moonlighting as web guys, and they offer a free online store website builder packed full of great features, including the ability to accept orders online and sell on social media.

Pro and Con
  • Get cross-product integration with all plans
  • Top-end payment security
  • No monthly fee
  • Excellent budget option
  • Fees apply to most sales
Square
Hosting
4.2/5
from $0
Go to Square
Square Highlights
  • Website builder with SEO tools
  • Pickup, local delivery & shipping
  • Sync with Square POS and more

Squarespace – the best retail website builder for creatives

Not to be confused with the above, Squarespace is an image-driven web builder that’s ideal for those of you selling paintings, prints or any other kind of visual art. There are tonnes of out-of-the-box templates to choose from and the platform is 100% drag-and-drop – another bonus for you newbies out there.

Pro and Con
  • Places visuals at the heart of everything
  • Simple drag-and-drop tools
  • Plugins to sell memberships and subscriptions
  • Promote gift cards and discounts easily
  • Advanced plan is pricey
SquareSpace
Website Builder
4.1/5
$16 per month
Go to SquareSpace
SquareSpace Highlights
  • Excellent templates
  • Integrated marketing & analytics tools
  • Access to over 40 million images

WordPress – an open-source option with huge potential

Brace yourselves for this – WordPress isn’t the easiest web builder for beginners. Their platform is a Content Management System (CMS) rather than drag-and-drop, meaning a steeper learning curve, but greater customisation capabilities overall. WordPress is open-source and will let you build any kind of online store you like, no matter how niche or extravagant. You can even sell digital and physical products simultaneously.

Pro and Con
  • Tonnes of plugins available
  • Endless customisation
  • A tried-and-tested solution
  • Excellent mobile app
  • Basic coding knowledge needed
WordPress
Hosting
4.8/5
$4 per month
Go to WordPress
WordPress Highlights
  • Huge selection of templates
  • Top performance
  • 24/7 customer support

How our experts scrutinise website builders for online stores

We’re pretty strict here at Strafe.com. If a website builder doesn’t cut it for e-commerce purposes, we’ll say so. Conversely, if it blows our mind, we’ll sing its praises for centuries. Here’s how we judge web builders:

✅ Ease-of-use

An easy web builder is a bit of a “you had one job” product, right? We test the platform for functionality and user experience.

🚀 Product scope and standout features

Does it offer retail website builder features to die for, or will users feel constrained by a restrictive set of tools? This is the next question we ask.

🖥️ Templates and customization

Next, we buzz around looking for the best online store-friendly templates and reveal how far they can be tweaked to your tastes.

🛍️ E-Commerce and marketing

Basic stuff here – the best website builder for e-commerce purposes needs to offer SEO, shopping carts, safe and simple transactions, and other obvious features. We review what to expect.

💵 Pricing

Is it a free online store website builder or are mega charges involved? Let’s find out.

📞 Customer support

Because 24/7 live chat is probably a necessity if you’re a first-time developer, right?

Our website builder guide – in the form of a few FAQs

By this point your head is probably spinning, so let’s explain some salesy web-building basics:

⁉️ Who are online retail store website builders for?

Well… people building an online retail site, obviously. Though most drag-and-drop services like Wix and Squarespace are specifically targeted at those with zero understanding of how to code.

🖥️ What kinds of online stores can be built with a basic construction kit?

Building your site around a basic shop template is by far the quickest way to branch out into online sales, but it can feel a little constricting if you’re real ambition is going global. Which brings us to our next point.

📝 Should I use a web builder or a CMS? – a one-paragraph comparison

Right, here goes… a CMS makes it much easier to edit existing pages, add new ones and integrate plugins from external sites, such as PayPal, for example. This means those of you anticipating mega-growth for your online store will find a CMS to be the most flexible solution. Conversely, bog-standard website builders take things back to basics. If you have zero coding knowledge, their drag-and-drop editors can help you build a sufficient-for-most online store in minutes, but you’ll be limited to out-of-the-box templates and tools, and it could be more difficult to expand your site in the future. Phew.

Shopify
1.
Favicon
5.0/5
from $9 per month
Visit Site
Wix
2.
Favicon
4.9/5
$16 per month
Visit Site
WordPress
3.
Favicon
4.8/5
$4 per month
Visit Site
IONOS
4.
Favicon
4.8/5
$1 per month
Visit Site
Square
5.
Favicon
4.8/5
from $0
Visit Site

Three easy steps on using an online store website builder

Whichever path you take, this is roughly how most web-building tools work:

  • Step 1 – pick a domain and web builder and start playing around

Find the best domain registrar offering store-friendly URLs. Many web builders themselves might even include these as part of a package. Pick a reputable company to start building with, then play around with their drag-and-drop (or CMS) tools.

  • Step 2 – customise and fine-tune your site

Settle on a template, colour scheme and start punching in some not-too-salesy copy that’ll appeal to your customers. Now’s the time to take advantage of SEO tools, sync mailing lists and find some kind of harmony between your marketing and your website, too. Be prepared to pay extra to unlock certain features if essential.

  • Step 3 – share your store with the world – and monitor it closely

If you followed our guidance and really chose the best free website builder for your online store, you should be able to preview it before it goes live. Once up and running, use your web builder’s analytics tools to keep your store’s performance in-check.

A few other important considerations 

You should use your retail website builder strategically to properly correlate with the core goals of your store. This means being careful not to overlook things like:

Multilingual web pages

Going global? If so, you’d better make sure international audiences are able to read your product descriptions. Look for translation software and plugins that’ll help you make your site multilingual.

Separate hosting and domain

Finding the best hosting provider to securely host your site is a must. The good news is that many easy web builders double up as hosts. That said, you may wish to pursue hosting and domain names separately for greater flexibility. Though we’d recommend watching a few YouTube tutorials on DNS settings first if you insist on doing so.

Do websites created via basic drag-and-drop builders have good SEO?

Websites created via free builders probably aren’t going to have amazing SEO scores, unfortunately. That said, many of the best website builders for online stores offer ample tools for boosting your visibility, so play around with what’s available and investigate popular keywords with your target market using tools like WordStream and SemRush, too.

Are free online store website builders any good?

Now we all have different definitions of good, but the best free web builders should generally offer you sufficient tools to build a simple, small online store that gets noticed. If you’re betting on becoming the next Amazon, however, definitely opt for a paid solution. 

What are the main disadvantages of website builders?

Let’s break it down into some easy bullets:

  •   Limited uniqueness due to restrictive templates and editing tools.
  •   Some e-commerce features might only be accessible via CMS.
  •   No outright ownership – particularly with free websites.

Generally, if you think any of the above will hit your sales hard, go for a CMS instead of a basic builder.

Shopify
1.
Favicon
5.0/5
from $9 per month
Visit Site
Wix
2.
Favicon
4.9/5
$16 per month
Visit Site
WordPress
3.
Favicon
4.8/5
$4 per month
Visit Site
IONOS
4.
Favicon
4.8/5
$1 per month
Visit Site
Square
5.
Favicon
4.8/5
from $0
Visit Site

Best website builder for online store FAQ

🛒 Which web builder should I use for my online store?

You can compare the top contenders with our detailed reviews and comparisons.

✂️ How do I discount my items on Shopify?

Different website builders offer different features and customisation tools. Read our in-depth Shopify review to find out more.

📈 Can I get SEO analytics tools with a free web builder for online stores?

The best website builders generally offer SEO tools and the potential to monitor your site’s activity, but how effective are these features? Find out now.

Conclusion – the best website builder for your online store should offer sales-friendly features

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – if you want to build and grow a successful online store, you’re going to need to start out with an online store website builder that’s brimming with e-commerce tools and widgets that’ll help you reach new audiences and boost your sales.

This means looking out for a retail website builder with SEO customisation options to capture new customers, good checkout options to enable hassle-free transactions, and of course, pretty photo gallery tools to show off your goods (or services) in the best possible light. Dive into our detailed reviews to learn more about our favourite e-commerce web builders currently available.

Shopify
1.
Favicon
5.0/5
from $9 per month
Visit Site
Wix
2.
Favicon
4.9/5
$16 per month
Visit Site
WordPress
3.
Favicon
4.8/5
$4 per month
Visit Site
IONOS
4.
Favicon
4.8/5
$1 per month
Visit Site
Square
5.
Favicon
4.8/5
from $0
Visit Site

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Visit Site